Tough conditions for businesses in region

Businesses across the Illawarra, Shoalhaven and the Southern Highlands have struggled through the June quarter, according to the results of the latest Business Conditions Survey conducted by the NSW Business Chamber.

The much-hoped for upswing in business conditions following the recent State and Federal Elections did not come to pass while the impact of drought continued to bite, with businesses in the Shoalhaven and the Southern Highlands doing it particularly tough.

The Illawarra Business Chamber is concerned that further declines in economic activity could see a deterioration in labour market conditions.

To offset any further decline, the Chamber is emphasising the importance of governments to get on with the delivery of infrastructure, as a means of providing additional economic stimulus.

“Each quarter we ask businesses their perceptions on how the economy is performing and how they think the next quarter will play out – and we are hearing that times are tough for businesses in the Illawarra, Shoalhaven and Southern Highlands,” said Adam Zarth, Executive Director of the Illawarra Business Chamber.

“In the Illawarra, respondents have reported a significant decline in business confidence and a pause on investment back into their businesses – though there are some signs of stabilisation. Meanwhile in the Shoalhaven and the Southern Highlands, business confidence is the lowest in the state and employment of new staff is effectively on hold,” he said.

“As the survey period was prior to both the RBA rate cut and the passage of the personal income tax package, survey respondents expect an upswing in the next quarter – particularly in retail.”

“However we cannot rely on those measures alone – both state and federal governments should be investing in worthy infrastructure projects in regions such as ours to keep them and their economies moving.”

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